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Boosting the Signal: Peaceful Protesters in Baltimore are the Norm

Video of people throwing rocks or burning cars appeals to our baser emotions (anger, fear, disgust), which leads to faster, more intense emotional responses that TV can use to make money (by packaging our eyeballs and selling them to advertisers). TV news is very good at capturing our attention. Images of hundreds of peaceful, determined faces appeal to our higher emotions, which are not as easy to monetize. I want…

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We are cruel. We always have been. The Internet did not make us so

We didn’t start the flame war. Scandalous satirical pamphlets were once cranked out by writers and sold at train stations, like so many primordial blog posts. Political cartoons have a long and vicious history. Incivility is our legacy, not our invention. It is part, but only part, of who we are. And have always been. –Tabatha Southey, The Globe and Mail.

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Undergrad Danielle Sidoti Nails an Oral Interpretation/Analysis of “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy

In my online “American Literature” class, I recorded several video and audio lectures, which students listened to and responded to via their blogs. By the middle of the term, I started scaling back my audio lectures, in part because the students didn’t need to hear my voice anymore — they were interpreting the works on their blogs. I started asking them to post their own audio interpretation of poems and passages.…

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Apple’s new diverse emoji are even more problematic than before

This author did a great job articulating the unease I felt when I learned about Apple’s racially diverse emoji. I don’t like it when interfaces translate my textual emoticons ;-) into graphic symbols. Now I feel like I’ll have to think deliberately about whatever color the autocorrect chooses for those graphics. Because I’m black, should I now feel compelled to use the “appropriate” brown-skinned nail-painting emoji? Why would I use the…

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Fraternity Announces “Legal Action” Against Rolling Stone

“The Rolling Stone article viewed by millions fueled a court of public opinion that ostracized Phi Kappa Psi members and led to vandalism of the fraternity house,” the fraternity’s statement said. “Clearly our fraternity and its members have been defamed, but more importantly we fear this entire episode may prompt some victims to remain in the shadows, fearful to confront their attackers,” said Stephen Scipione, president of the the University…

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Rolling Stone and UVA: The Columbia School of Journalism Report

Sloppy journalism can ruin lives. Check your sources. Before publishing accusations against someone, get that person’s side of the story. My personal belief is that it’s silly to want to join clubs with greek letters, but then again in my spare time in the past few weeks I have pretended to be shot by a lyric soprano in Sweeney Todd and I’ve pretended to help crucify Jesus in JC Superstar,…